Science Versus the Bible – Are They Compatible?
Dr. Roger G. Ford. Ph.D., P.E.
(Adapted from John MacArthur, Duane Gish, and Henry Morris)
Evidence for Creation
There is the theory that all living things have arisen through a naturalistic, mechanistic evolutionary process from a single source, which itself arose by a similar process from a dead, inorganic world. This general evolutionary hypothesis is usually presented as an established scientific fact in science textbooks. All of the evidence that supposedly is in favor of this theory is thoroughly discussed in such texts, and it is often stated that all competent biologists accept the theory of evolution.
While it is true that most biologists accept evolution as a fact, there is a significant minority of competent biologists who do not accept this theory as the best interpretation of the known data. One of these who may be cited as an example is Dr. W. R. Thompson (see American Men of Science or Canadian Men of Science), whose credentials as a competent biologist need no defense. His objections to evolutionary theory may be found in his introduction to a 1956 edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species entitled A Critique of Evolution.1 In 1963 a group of scientists formed the Creation Research Society.2 This relatively new organization now includes about 400 members, all of whom hold a master’s degree or doctorate in some Field of science. None accept the theory of evolution.
There is actually a considerable amount of sound, scientific evidence that contradicts the theory of evolution, some of which appears to be absolutely incompatible with the theory. The importance of the nature of this evidence is never emphasized in textbooks used in our public school systems and colleges. In fact, this evidence is rarely, if ever, even mentioned. As a result, biology students are exposed to all the evidence that supposedly is in favor of the theory, but are not made aware of its weaknesses, nor the evidence that actually contradicts the theory. We must recognize, therefore, that such an educational process amounts to indoctrination in a particular world view or philosophy based on the concept that the origin of the Universe, the origin and diversity of life, in fact all of reality, must be explainable solely on the basis of the laws of chemistry and physics.
The possibility of a Creator or the existence of a Supernatural Being is excluded. The reason evolutionary theory is so widely accepted today is because our scientists and biology teachers are the products of an educational system dominated by this naturalistic, mechanistic, humanistic philosophy.
The theory of evolution actually completely violates two of the most fundamental laws of nature, laws that each and every scientist or biology professional firmly attest to, and they are the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. The First Law states that no matter what changes may take place, nuclear, chemical, or physical, the sum total of energy and matter remains constant. Nothing now is being either created or destroyed, although transformations of many kinds may take place. The Second Law states that every change which takes place naturally and spontaneously tends to go from a state of order to one of disorder, from the complex to the simple, from a higher energy state to a lower energy state. The total amount of randomness or disorder in the universe (entropy is a measure of this randomness) is constantly and inevitably increasing meaning that disorder is increasing, NOT order. Any increase in order and complexity that may occur, therefore, could only be local and very temporary; but evolution requires great amounts of increase in order extending through massive amounts of geological time.
The Big Bang Theory, that somehow an unimaginably dense and tiny ball of energy and matter just “existed”, and then, again somehow, exploded in a “big bang”, is accepted today as the origin of everything. Just how everything came out of nothing or out of some super dense ball of energy and matter with no origin itself is a mystery. Obviously, nothing cannot make everything. But, outside of a belief in the God of Creation, the evolution-spouting so-called scientists have no other explanation. It is unexplainable and sort of silly that these “scientists” completely overlook, reject, or just haven’t even thought that this theory violates the basic definition of science itself – that scientific discoveries must be verifiable and repeatable for them to become fact. Without doubt, neither the big bang nor evolution nor even creationism can be verifiable or repeated. So why do “scientist” claim that evolution and the big bang are scientific fact?
Evolution and the Big Bang Theory use many “fudge factors” in order to make them sound plausible and, at least, sort of acceptable. But, many scientists today are rejecting evolution and the big bang because of those “fudge factors’. For example, the big bang would have had to generate equal amounts of matter and anti-matter in order to conform to the laws of physics. But, antimatter is almost non-existent in the universe, as far as we can tell. Another very large “fudge factor” is the big bang’s ignoring a fundamental law of science known as Boyle’s Law which states very simply that gases, when released into a vast expanse like space will repel each other due to magnetism of like particles. Since we know that stars are compressed gases, how did this compression take place within conditions which would not allow the gasses to come together much less compress? Materials that make up planets should have thinned out and spread out instead of clumping together or compressing together.
The point of this is that secular evolution and big bang theories have no place for a Creator God or for miracles from a God that really can make something out of nothing. The Bible chronicles exactly the sequence that God made everything from stars and planets to fish, birds, and animals, and then man. The reason He laid this sequence all out for us to read in the Bible is so that we can believe and understand that sin is a problem that man cannot solve. Only God provides salvation from the penalty of sin which is through belief in God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Evolutionists and Big Bang theorists do not want there to be a God holding them accountable for their sin. So, they just ignore Him at their peril.
Since the universe, like a clock, is running down, it is obvious that it hasn’t existed forever. But according to the First Law, the sum total of energy and matter is always a constant. How then can we, purely on a natural basis alone, explain the origin of matter and energy of which this universe is composed? The theory of evolution that starts with the random cosmos and leads to man, is somehow both creative and progressive, while the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics declare that known natural processes are qualitatively degenerative in the short term and massively degenerative in the long term. In every case, without exception, when these Laws have been subjected to test they have been found valid. Exponents of evolutionary theory thus ignore the observable in order to accept the unobservable (the evolutionary origin of life and of the major kinds of living things).
The evolutionary process has supposedly taken place via random mutational changes. This basic concept of the modern evolutionary theory is under attack even by some evolutionists. A symposium was held at the Wistar Institute in 1966 at which mathematicians and evolutionary biologists presented opposing views.5 One of the mathematicians, Dr. Murray Eden, stated that, “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery of new natural laws—physical, physicochemical and biological“. It is the contention of these mathematicians that the increase in complexity and the progress that has supposedly been accomplished by evolution through random changes would require a length of time billions of times longer than the three billion years usually assigned by evolutionists to allow for the development of mankind.
Random mutations and natural selection supposedly have been responsible for evolution, allegedly a creative and progressive process. Natural selection, however, is not creative since it cannot create anything new. It is a conservative force eliminating the unfit. Random mutational changes in an ordered system are a disordering or randomizing process and are degenerative, not progressive. This realization is slowly spreading among evolutionists today.
Whether evolution actually did happen or not can only be indicated by an examination of the historical record, that is, the fossil record. What type of evidence would support the evolutionary concept? If invertebrate gave rise to vertebrate, fish to amphibian, amphibian to reptile, reptile to bird and mammals, each transformation requiring millions of years and involving innumerable transitional forms, then the fossil record should certainly produce a good representative number of these transitional types.
In the Cambrian geological strata there occurs a sudden, great outburst of fossils of animals on a highly developed level of complexity. In the Cambrian rocks are found billions of fossils of animals so complex that the evolutionists estimate they would have required one and a half billion years to evolve. Trilobites, brachiopods, sponges, corals, jellyfish, in fact every one of the major invertebrate forms of life are found in the Cambrian. What is found in rocks supposedly older than the Cambrian, in the so-called pre-Cambrian rocks, is shocking. Not a single indisputable fossil! Certainly it can be said without fear of contradiction, the evolutionary predecessors of the fossils in the Cambrian have never been found.
Axelrod, a geologist and an evolutionist, has written, “One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution is the occurrence of diversified, multi-cellular marine invertebrates in Lower Cambrian rocks and their absence in rocks of greater age. These Early Cambrian fossils included porifera, coelenterates, brachiopods, mollusca, echinoids, and arthropods. Their high degree of organization clearly indicates that a long period of evolution preceded their appearance in the record. However, when we turn to examine the pre-Cambrian rocks for the forerunners of these Early Cambrian fossils, they are nowhere to be found. Many thick (over 5000 feet) sections or sedimentary rock are now known to lie in unbroken succession below strata containing the earliest Cambrian fossils. These sediments apparently were suitable for the preservation of fossils because they are often identical with overlying rocks which are fossiliferous, yet no fossils are found in them“.
George Gaylord Simpson, famous paleontologist and evolutionist, has termed the absence of pre-Cambrian fossils the “major mystery of the history of life.” This great outburst of highly developed and complex living things is highly contradictory to evolutionary theory, but is exactly what would be predicted on the basis of special divine creation.
The fossil record ought to produce thousands of transitional forms. Instead we find that there is a regular and systematic absence of transitional forms between higher categories. The major invertebrate types found in the Cambrian are just as distinctly set apart when they first appear as they are today, the fossil record giving no indication that any of these major types have been derived from common ancestors.
The vertebrates supposedly evolved from an invertebrate. This is an assumption that cannot be documented from the fossil record. There is a vast gulf between the invertebrates and vertebrates not bridged by transitional forms. The first vertebrate, a fish of the class Agnatha, is a 100% vertebrate. Of its possible evolutionary origin, Ommanney has said, “How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fishlike creatures we do not know. Between the Cambrian when it probably originated and the Ordovician when the first fossils of animals with really fishlike characteristics appeared, there is a gap of perhaps 100 million years which we will probably never be able to fill.” One hundred million years and no transitional forms! Incredible!
Fish supposedly gave rise to amphibian over a period of millions of years during which time the fins of the hypothetical ancestral fish gradually changed into the feet and legs of the amphibian. Yet not a single fossil has ever been found showing a part-way fin and part-way foot! The living amphibians include three types: the salamanders and newts, usually with sprawling legs and tails; the frogs and toads, among the most highly specialized of all land vertebrates, having no tails and very long hind legs; and the Apodans, a worm-like creature with no trace of limbs. No transitional forms can be found between these diverse living amphibians, or between them and fossil amphibians.
Birds are alleged to have evolved from the reptiles. Yet no one has ever found a single fossil showing a part-way wing and part-way forelimb, or a part-way feather. Archaeopteryx, “the oldest known bird,” had teeth but so did other birds found in the fossil record that were unquestionably 100% birds. Archaeopteryx had claw-like appendages on the leading edges of its wings. These same appendages, however, are found in a living bird in South America, the Hoactzin, and he is 100% bird. Archaeopteryx had vertebrae extending out along the tail, but was no more a transitional form between reptile and bird than the bat is a link between bird and mammal. Archaeopteryx had fully developed wings and feathers. It flew. It was definitely a bird, as all paleontologists agree.
As a matter of fact, the ability to fly supposedly evolved four times independently: in the birds, the flying reptiles (pterosaurs) now extinct, the insects, and in mammals (the bat). In none of these cases are there fossil transitional forms showing the ability to fly as evolving. Four times a marvelous transformation has taken place: terrestrial animals have evolved the power of flight. Each such transformation required millions of years and involved thousands of transitional forms. Yet none of these transitional forms can be found in the fossil record! Could it be that these transitional forms are not found simply because they never existed? Such evidence can be much more easily correlated within a creationist framework than within an evolutionary framework.
The sudden appearance in the fossil record of highly developed forms of life in vast numbers and the sudden appearance of each major group without apparent transitional forms indicates that there was actually no passage at all from lower forms to higher forms, but that each major group was specially created and thus corresponds to the “kinds” described in the Book of Genesis. Professor G. A. Kerkut, an evolutionist, in his illuminating book Implications of Evolution has stated “… there is the theory that all living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.15 The theory can be called the ‘General Theory of Evolution’ and the evidence that supports it is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis“.
Special creation actually offers a far better explanation of the scientific evidence. To restrict the teaching concerning origins to a single theory, that of evolution, and to teach it as an established scientific fact, constitutes indoctrination in a humanistic religious philosophy. Such a procedure violates the Constitutional prohibition against the teaching of sectarian religious views just as clearly as if the teaching concerning origins were restricted to the Book of Genesis. In the spirit of fairness and of academic freedom, shouldn’t we plead for a balanced presentation of all the evidence?
Naturalism versus Religion – faith and science, falsely so-called
Thanks to the theory of evolution, naturalism is now the dominant religion of modern society. Less than a century and a half ago, Charles Darwin popularized the credo for this secular religion with his book The Origin of Species. Although most of Darwin’s theories about the mechanisms of evolution were discarded long ago, the doctrine of evolution itself has managed to achieve the status of a fundamental article of faith in the popular modern mind. Naturalism has now replaced Christianity as the main religion of the Western world, and evolution has become naturalism’s principal foundation.
Naturalism is the view that every law and every force operating in the universe is natural rather than moral, spiritual, or supernatural. Naturalism is inherently anti-theistic, rejecting the very concept of a personal God. Many assume naturalism therefore has nothing to do with religion. In fact, it is a common misconception that naturalism embodies the very essence of scientific objectivity. Naturalists themselves like to portray their system as a philosophy that stands in opposition to all faith-based world-views, pretending that it is scientifically and intellectually superior precisely because of its supposed non-religious character. Not so. Religion is exactly the right word to describe naturalism. The entire philosophy is built on a faith-based premise. Its basic presupposition of rejection of everything supernatural requires a giant leap of faith. And nearly all its supporting theories must be taken by faith as well.
Consider the dogma of evolution, for example. The notion that natural evolutionary processes can account for the origin of all living species has never been and never will be established as “fact”. Nor is it “scientific” in any true sense of the word. Science deals with what can be observed and reproduced by experimentation. The origin of life can be neither observed nor reproduced in any laboratory. By definition, then, true science can give us no knowledge whatsoever about where we came from or how we got here. Belief in evolutionary theory is a matter of sheer faith. And dogmatic belief in any naturalistic theory is no more “scientific” than any other kind of religious faith.
Modern naturalism is often taught and disseminated with a missionary zeal that has powerful religious overtones. The popular fish symbol many Christians put on their cars now has a naturalist counterpart: a fish with feet and the word “Darwin” embossed into its side. The Internet has become naturalism’s busiest mission field where evangelists for the cause aggressively try to bolster and encourage those who still cling to their theistic presuppositions. Naturalists are often dedicated to their faith with a devout passion that rivals or easily exceeds the fanaticism of any radical religious zealot. Naturalism is clearly as much a religion as any theistic world-view.
The point is further proved by examining the beliefs of those naturalists who claim to be most upset by religious beliefs. Take, for example, the case of Carl Sagan, perhaps the best-known scientific celebrity of the past few decades. A renowned astronomer and media figure, Sagan was overtly antagonistic to biblical theism. But he became the chief televangelist for the religion of naturalism. He preached a world-view that was based entirely on naturalistic assumptions. Underlying all he taught was the firm conviction that everything in the universe has a natural cause and a natural explanation. That belief, which is a matter of faith and not a truly scientific observation, governed and shaped every one of his theories about the universe.
Sagan examined the vastness and complexity of the universe and concluded that there is nothing greater than the universe itself. So he borrowed divine attributes such as infinite, eternal, and omnipotent, and he made them properties of the universe itself. Sagan’s religion was actually a kind of naturalistic pantheism, and his motto sums it up perfectly. He deified the universe and everything in it insisting that the cosmos itself is that which was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8).
Having examined enough of the cosmos to see evidence of the Creator’s infinite power and majesty, he imputed that omnipotence and glory to creation itself, precisely the error the apostle Paul describes in Romans 1:20-22, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools”. Exactly like the idolaters Paul was describing, Sagan put creation in the Creator’s rightful place.
Carl Sagan looked at the universe and saw its greatness and concluded nothing could possibly be greater. His religious presuppositions forced him to deny that the universe was the result of intelligent design. In fact, as a devoted naturalist, he had to deny that it was created at all. Therefore he saw it as eternal and infinite. So, it naturally took the place of God in his thinking. The religious character of the philosophy that shaped Sagan’s world-view is evident in much of what he wrote and said. His novel Contact (made into a major motion picture in 1997) is loaded with religious metaphors and imagery. It’s about the discovery of extraterrestrial life, which occurs in December 1999, at the dawn of a new millennium, when the world is rife with Messianic expectations and apocalyptic fears. In Sagan’s imagination, the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe becomes the “revelation” that affords a basis for the fusing of science and religion into a world-view that perfectly mirrors Sagan’s own belief system with the cosmos as God and scientists as the new priesthood.
The hypothesis that the earth is billions of years old is rooted in the unbiblical premise that what is happening now is just what has always happened. This idea is known as uniformitarianism. It is the theory that natural and geological phenomena are for the most part the results of forces that have operated continuously, with uniformity, and without interruption, over billions and billions of years (sounds like Carl Sagan again). Uniformitarians assume that the forces at work in nature are essentially fixed and constant. Scientists who hold this view explain nearly all geological phenomena in terms of processes that are still occurring. The uniformitarian sees sedimentary rock strata, for example, and assumes that the sediments that formed them resulted from the natural, slow settling of particles in water over several million years. A uniformitarian observes the Grand Canyon and assumes the natural flow of the Colorado River carved that immense chasm over many ages with a steady (through a strange and contrary constantly decreasing) river, then stream.
Uniformitarianism was first proposed around the beginning of the nineteenth century by two British geologists, James Hutton and his best-known disciple, the infamous Charles Lyell who speculated that giraffes developed long necks over time because they could not reach the tasty leaves on the taller trees. Lyell’s work Principles of Geology was an explicit rejection of creation and flood-based explanations for geological formulations. Lyell insisted that all the features of earth’s geology must be explainable by natural, rather than supernatural, processes. He regarded all biblical or supernatural explanations as inherently unscientific and therefore false. In other words, he began with the presupposition that Scripture itself is untrue. And his work essentially canonized atheistic naturalism as the basis for “scientific” research.
As we have noted previously, naturalism itself is a religious belief. The conviction that nothing happens supernaturally is a tenet of faith, not a fact that can be verified by any scientific means. Indeed, a rejection of everything supernatural involves a giant, irrational leap of faith. So the presuppositions of atheistic naturalism are actually no more “scientific” than the beliefs of biblical Christianity. That obvious fact seems to have escaped Lyell and many who have followed him.
Nonetheless, Lyell’s uniformitarian theory was enormously influential on other scientists of his age. (Darwin even took a copy of Lyell’s work with him when he sailed on the Beagle in 1831.) And from the first publication of Lyell’s work until today, the hypothesis that the earth is ages old has dominated secular science. The theory of evolution itself was the predictable and nearly immediate result of Lyell’s uniformitarian hypothesis. Of course, modern scientists have expanded their estimates of the age of the earth beyond anything Lyell himself ever imagined. But the basic theory of uniformitarianism first emerged from Lyell’s anti-biblical belief system.
The opposite of uniformitarianism is catastrophism, the view that dramatic geological changes have occurred in sudden, violent, or unusual events. A catastrophist observing sedimentary rock formations or large canyons is more likely (and more accurately) to interpret them as the result of massive flooding. Of course, this yields a much younger time frame for the development of earth’s geological features. A sudden flood, for example, can produce a thick layer of sediment in a few hours. That means a large stratum of sedimentary rock, which a uniformitarian might assume took millions of years to form, could actually be the result of a single flash flood. The best example of this was the explosion of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 which left a canyon of sedimentary material that was then eroded in less than a week to appear very similar to the Grand Canyon but on a smaller scale. Catastrophism therefore poses a major challenge to the evolutionary timetable, eliminating the multiple billions of years demanded to make the evolutionary hypothesis work. And for that reason it is rejected out of hand by most evolutionists.
But a moment’s reflection will reveal that the fossil record is impossible to explain by any uniformitarian scheme. For a living creature to become fossilized rather than to decay and turn to dust (Job 34:15), it must be buried immediately under a great weight of sediment. Apart from a catastrophic deluge on a scale unlike any observed in recent history, how can we explain the existence of massive fossil beds such as the Karoo formation fossil field in Africa, which is thought to hold eight hundred billion vertebrate fossils? Natural sedimentation over several ages cannot explain how so many fossils came to be concentrated in one place. And every inhabited continent contains large fossil beds where millions of fossilized species are found together in large concentrations, as if all these creatures were destroyed and buried together by massive flooding. Fossils of sea creatures are even found on many of the world’s highest mountain tops. How do uniformitarians explain such phenomena? The only way they can is to constantly increase their estimate of the age of the earth.
Scripture expressly condemns uniformitarianism in 2 Peter 3:4. Peter prophesied that this erroneous view would be adopted in the last days by scoffers or men walking after their own lusts who imagine that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” The apostle Peter goes on to write, “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:5–6). In other words, the plain teaching of Scripture is that this world’s history has not been one of uniform natural and geological processes from the beginning. According to the Bible, there have been at least two global cataclysmic events: creation itself and a catastrophic worldwide flood in Noah’s time. These would sufficiently explain virtually all the geological and hydrological features of the earth as we know it.
In fact, large-scale catastrophic forces are the only really plausible explanation for some geological features. Vasquez Rocks is a location in Southern California that has the appearance of a rugged moonscape and is a familiar site in science fiction films where it is often employed as a setting for scenes depicting exotic planets. Its main features are massive shards of jagged rock strata, broken sharply and thrusting out of the ground to great heights. Whatever force stood those rocks on end was obviously sudden and violent, not slow and gradual. The entire region is filled with similar evidences of catastrophe. Not far away is the notorious San Andreas Fault. There, where the roadway has been cut into the hillside, travelers may observe violently twisted rock strata. These features are mute evidence to extraordinary forces that have shaped the topography of Southern California, far exceeding the power of any known earthquake. Such phenomena are what we might expect, given the account of Noah’s Flood in the biblical record. Scripture says, for example, that when the Flood began, “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11). No doubt the Flood was accompanied by volcanic activity, massive geological movements, and the shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates. Such a catastrophe would not only explain twisted and up-thrust rock strata, but it would also easily explain why so many of the earth’s mountain ranges give evidence of having once been under the sea. Uniformitarians cannot agree on any feasible explanation for features like these.
A massive flood would also explain the formation of the Grand Canyon. In fact, it would be a better explanation of how the canyon came to be than any uniformitarian hypothesis. The features of the canyon itself, having extremely deep gorges (up to a mile) with level plateaus at the rims, suggest that it was formed by rapid erosion. A strikingly similar formation is Providence Canyon, near Lumpkin, Georgia, a spectacular canyon that covers more than eleven hundred acres. In the early 1800s the entire area was flat farmland. By the mid-1800s, farmers had completely cleared the area of trees and their root systems, leaving the area susceptible to erosion. In 1846, heavy rainfall began forming small gullies and crevices. These expanded with every successive rainfall. By the 1940s, nearby buildings and towns had to be moved to accommodate the growing canyon. Today the canyon comprises sixteen fingers, some more than one mile in length. The distance from the canyon floor to the rim is as high as a fifteen-story building. Today it is a scenic area, lush with trees and wildlife, often called “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.” Its features are indistinguishable from canyons geologists claim took billions of years to form.
Douglas F. Kelly writes, “The uniformitarian assumption that millions of years of geological work (extrapolating from present, slow, natural processes) would be required to explain structures such as the American Grand Canyon, for instance, is called into serious question by the explosion of Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington on the 18 of May 1980. Massive energy equivalent to 20 million tons of TNT destroyed 400 square kilometers of forest in six minutes, changing the face of the mountain and digging out depths of earth and rock, leaving formations not unlike parts of the larger Grand Canyon. Recent studies of the Mount St. Helens phenomenon indicate that if attempts were made to date these structures (which were formed in 1980) on the basis of uniformitarian theory, millions of years of formation time would be necessarily postulated”.
Christians who reinterpret the biblical text to try to accommodate the uniformitarians’ old-earth hypotheses do so unnecessarily. To imagine that the earth was formed by natural processes over billions and billions of years through slow and steady evolution is to deny the very essence of what Scripture teaches about the earth’s creation. It is to reject the clear account of God Himself that He created the earth and all its life in six days.
Faith and Science – Falsely So-Called
The apostle Paul closed his first epistle to Timothy by urging the young pastor to guard the deposit of truth that had been entrusted to him, “avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). In the King James Version, the text famously speaks of “science falsely so called.”
Over the course of human history, all kinds of speculative ideas have been falsely labeled “science” and mistakenly accepted as true and reliable knowledge by otherwise brilliant people. The now-discredited dogmas of older scientific theories are numerous, and in some cases laughable. They include alchemy (the medieval belief that other base metals could be transmuted into gold); phrenology (the Victorian belief that the shape of one’s skull reflects character traits and mental capacity); astrology (the pagan belief that human destiny is determined by the motions of celestial bodies); and abiogenesis (the long-standing belief that living organisms are spontaneously generated by decaying organic substances). All those false beliefs were deemed credible as “science” by the leading minds of their times.
Consider just one of those – abiogenesis. Popularly known as “spontaneous generation,” this idea has long been, and continues to be, one of the expressions of “science falsely so called.” It is also one of the most persistent of all demonstrably pseudoscientific fictions. The notion that aphids arise naturally from dew on plant leaves, mold is generated automatically by aging bread, and maggots are spontaneously begotten by rotting meat was more or less deemed self-evident by most of humanity’s brightest intellects from the time of Aristotle until 1861, when Louis Pasteur conclusively proved that non-living matter cannot spawn life on its own.
It is one of the great ironies of scientific history that the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published exactly two years before Pasteur’s famous experiments proved that life cannot arise spontaneously from non-living matter. The publication of Darwin’s book marked the reemergence and popularization of evolutionary theory, and it was rooted in the basic presupposition that under the right circumstances, life can spring on its own from non-living matter. In other words, two years before abiogenesis was scientifically debunked, it was in effect canonized as the central dogma of modern secular belief about the origins of life. The discovery that fleas don’t magically form out of decomposing dander on the backs of dirty dogs did not dissuade most in the scientific world from embracing the theory that all life in the universe arose by itself out of nothing. The belief that life spontaneously came from non-life remains to this day the great unexplained (albeit easily disprovable) assumption underlying the dogma of evolution.
The irony of that is utterly lost on many in the scientific community today, where evolution has become an article of faith – unshakable faith, it turns out. Evolutionists have conveniently “solved” the problem of abiogenesis by repeatedly moving their estimates of the earth’s age backward toward infinity. Given enough time, it seems, anything is possible. Trying desperately to keep the biblical concept of eternity at bay, evolutionists have thus devised an alternative kind of infinity. Every time a challenge to current evolutionary theory arises, geologists and astronomers dutifully tack billions and billions of eons onto their theories about the earth’s age, adding however many ancient eras are deemed necessary for some new impossibility to be explained.
Naturalism has become the dominant religion of contemporary secular society. Religion is exactly the right word to describe naturalism. The entire philosophy is built on a faith-based premise. Its basic presupposition, a rejection of everything supernatural, requires a giant leap of faith. And nearly all its supporting theories must be taken by faith as well”.
The typical evolutionist’s starting point is this notion that life arose spontaneously from inanimate matter sometime in eternity past. That requires not merely the willful suspension of what we know for certain about the origins of life and the impossibility of abiogenesis, but also enough deliberate gullibility to believe that moving-target estimates of the earth’s antiquity can sufficiently answer all the problems and contradictions sheer naturalism poses.
Meanwhile, in the popular media, evolutionary doctrine and ever-expanding notions of prehistory are being promoted with all the pious zeal of the latest religious sect. Watch the Internet forums, programs on the Discovery Channel, interviews and articles published in the mass media, school textbooks, and books aimed at lay readers and what you will usually see is raw assertions, demagoguery, intimidation, and ridicule especially when the subjects of biblical theism and the Genesis account of creation are raised.
But question the dogma that all life evolved from a single spontaneously-generated cell, point out that the universe is full of evidence for intelligent design, or demand the kind of proof for evolutionary origins that would ordinarily pass scientific muster, and the ardent evolutionist will simply dismiss you as a heretic or a bigot. What they are tacitly acknowledging is that as far as they are concerned, evolution is a doctrine that must be received with implicit faith, not something that can be scientifically demonstrated. After all, the claims of true science can always be investigated, observed, reproduced, tested, and proved in the laboratory. So to insist that evolution and so-called “deep time” doctrines must be accepted without question is really just a tacit admission that these are not scientific ideas at all.
Consider these quotations from typical evolutionist writers:
- No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century. (Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., Boston: Sinauer Associates, 1986, p. 15)
- It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory. . . . All present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from non-birds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts. (R. C. Lewontin, “Evolution/creation debate: A time for truth,” Bioscience (1981), 31:559)
- Here is what separates real scientists from the pseudoscientists of the school of intelligent design. . . . One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun. It is not a theory, and for pity’s sake, let’s stop confusing the philosophically naive by calling it so. Evolution is a fact. (Richard Dawkins, “The Illusion of Design,” Natural History (November 2005), 53)
But as those statements themselves show, evolution is a dogma, not a demonstrable “fact.” Science cannot speak with any authority about when the universe began, how it came into being, or how life originated on earth. Science by definition deals with what can be observed, tested, measured, and investigated by empirical means. Scientific data by definition are facts that can be demonstrated by controlled, repeatable experiments that always yield consistent results. The beginning of the universe by its very nature falls outside the realm of scientific investigation.
To state the case plainly – there is no scientific way to explain creation. No one but God actually observed creation. It did not happen by any uniform, predictable, observable, repeatable, fixed, or natural laws. It was not a natural event or a series of natural events. The initial creation of matter was an instantaneous, monumental, inexplicable miracle, the exact opposite of a “natural” phenomenon. And the formation of the universe was a brief series of supernatural events that simply cannot be studied or explained by science. There are no natural processes involved in creation; the act of creation cannot be repeated; it cannot be tested; and therefore naturalistic theories purporting to explain the origin and age of the universe are unverifiable.
In other words, creation is a theological issue, not a scientific one. Scripture is our only credible source of information about creation, because God Himself was the only eyewitness to the event. We can either believe what He says or reject it. But no Christian should ever imagine that what we believe about the origin of the universe is merely a secondary, nonessential, or incidental matter. It is, after all, the very starting point of God’s self-revelation.
In fact, in its profound brevity, Genesis 1:1 is a very simple, clear, and unequivocal account of how the universe, the earth, and everything on the earth came to be. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is not an ambiguous statement. Until Darwinian evolution undertook a campaign to co-opt the story of creation and bring it into the realm of naturalistic “science”, and especially before modernist skepticism began to seep into the church, no one who claimed to be a Christian was the least bit confused by the Genesis account.
Christians should not be intimidated by dogmatic naturalism. We do not need to invent a new interpretation of Genesis every time some geologist or astronomer declares that the universe must be older than he previously thought. Nor should we imagine that legitimate science poses any threat to the truth of Scripture. Above all, we must not seek ways to circumvent the clear meaning of God’s Word, compromise our trust in the Creator, or continually yield ground to every new theory of falsely-so-called science. That is precisely what Paul was warning Timothy about.
Sadly, it seems evolutionary thinking and qualms about the Genesis account of creation have reached epidemic levels among professing Christians in recent decades. Too many Christian leaders, evangelical schools, and Bible commentators have been willing to set aside the biblical account of a relatively young earth in order to accommodate the ever-changing estimates of naturalistic geologists and astronomers. They have thrown away sound hermeneutical principles, at least in the early chapters of Genesis, to accommodate the latest theories of evolution.
People who think evolutionary doctrine trumps the biblical account of creation should be asked where their belief in the Bible kicks in. Is it in chapter 3, where the fall of Adam and original sin are accounted for? In chapters 4-5, where early human history is chronicled? In chapters 6-8, with the record of the flood? In chapter 11, with the Tower of Babel? If you bring naturalism and its presuppositions to the early chapters of Genesis, it is just a short step to denying all the miracles of Scripture including the resurrection of Christ. If we want to make science the test of biblical truth rather than vice versa, why would it not make just as much sense to question the biblical record of the resurrection as it does to reject the Genesis account? But “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! . . . If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).
Science – Insufficient for Metaphysics
It’s hard to imagine anything more absurd than the naturalist’s formula for the origin of the universe: Nobody times nothing equals everything. There is no Creator; there was no design or purpose. Everything we see simply emerged and evolved by pure chance from a total void.
Not long ago, when you asked the typical naturalist what he believed about the beginning of all things, you were likely to hear about the Big Bang theory—the notion that the universe is the product of an immense explosion. As if an utterly violent and chaotic beginning could result in all the synergy and order we observe in the cosmos around us. Today the theories have changed, but the common root of speculation remains the same.
A key question to ask those who subscribed to the Big Bang theory is, “What was the catalyst that touched off that Big Bang in the first place? And what, in turn, was the catalyst for that?” Something incredibly large had to fuel the original explosion. Where did that “something” originate? A Big Bang out of nowhere quite simply could not have been the beginning of all things. Apart from the eternal God of the Scripture, answers about ultimate origins are short in coming.
Is the material universe itself eternal, as some claim? And if it is, why hasn’t it wound down? For that matter, what set it in motion to begin with? What is the source of the energy that keeps it going? Why hasn’t entropy caused it to devolve into a state of inertia and chaos, rather than, as the evolutionist must hypothesize, apparently developing into a more orderly and increasingly sophisticated system as the Big Bang expands?
The vast array of insurmountable problems for the naturalist begins at the most basic level. What was the First Cause that caused everything else? Where did matter come from? Where did energy come from? What holds everything together and what keeps everything going? How could life, self-consciousness, and rationality evolve from inanimate, inorganic matter? Who designed the many complex and interdependent organisms and sophisticated ecosystems we observe? Where did intelligence originate? Are we to think of the universe as a massive perpetual-motion apparatus with some sort of impersonal “intelligence” of its own? Or is there, after all, a personal, intelligent Designer who created everything and set it all in motion?
Those are vital metaphysical questions that must be answered if we are to understand the meaning and value of life itself. Philosophical naturalism, because of its materialistic and anti-supernatural presuppositions, is utterly incapable of offering any answers to those questions. In fact, the most basic dogma of naturalism is that everything happens by natural processes; nothing is supernatural; and therefore there can be no personal Creator. That means there can be no design and no purpose for anything. Naturalism therefore can provide no philosophical basis for believing that human life is particularly valuable or in any way significant.
Here’s the topic of discussion for the comment thread: Philosophical naturalism has invalidated itself from metaphysical inquiry by denying super-natural explanations. Naturalism has no credibility in the field of metaphysics, and yet scientists and philosophers who hold materialistic and anti-supernatural presuppositions biases continue to violate the limitations of their discipline. What would a research biologist, geneticist, or geologist think about being paired up with an anti-materialist? Wouldn’t the anti-materialist’s presuppositions lead to frustration in scientific inquiry? In what way are many of today’s scientists guilty of applying an anti-supernatural bias to the question of origins? What validity is there in trying to conform the Bible, the revelation of a super-natural God, to an anti-supernatural/materialist worldview?
The present is the key to the past, “a summary of the uniformitarian hermeneutic”, says the processes we see today are the processes that have always been. Natural phenomena like flowing water, wind patterns, volcanic activity, and changes in temperature account for what we see in the geological record, the layers of sediment that cover the earth.
More recently, uniformitarian geologists have allowed certain cataclysmic events into their model, like regional flooding and earthquakes. But, level-headed scientists that they are, they will not allow “religious myths” to influence their interpretations. Events in the biblical record, creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Fall, and the global Flood, are quaint relics of an unscientific era, but they have no place in the practice of real science.
But just suppose for a moment that the Flood, as described in Scripture, actually happened. It was an unprecedented, never-to-be-repeated upheaval of the earth’s crust and radical change in the earth’s atmosphere. Would the change in conditions affect radiometric dating? Would they help explain the fossil record, the geologic column, the resulting landscape and geographic features on the earth? Most scientists will never ask those questions because they totally reject the biblical account of the global Flood.
One fundamental problem with Uniformitarianism, like all non-biblical worldviews, is the circularity of its reasoning. There was once an honest geology professor who told his students, “Folks, when you’re looking at rocks and strata, you’re not looking at time; you’re looking at rocks and strata.” (Exactly!) So, just how do geologists justify the dating of the geological column, the chart that traverses time from the Cryptic era (starting from 4.5 billion years) to the Cenozoic era (up to today)?
Geology Prof: “Well, we date the eras by the strata that belong to that era.”
Questioner: “How do you date the strata?”
Geology Prof: “By the fossils embedded in each stratum.”
Questioner: (Now we’re getting somewhere.) “So, since carbon dating is used for recent dating, and since radiometric dating isn’t used for dating fossils, how do you determine the ages of the fossils?”
Geology Prof: “By the strata in which we find them.”
Questioner: “Isn’t that circular? I mean, if you date the fossils by the rocks, and the rocks by the fossils, isn’t that circular reasoning?”
Geology Prof: “Yes, I suppose it is. But that’s the best we can do.”
It is just wearisome of the Uniformitarians, particularly among professing Christians, who refuse to acknowledge the circularity of their position. Like the BioLogos crowd, they keep asserting what they claim to prove, “The present is the key to the past”, but without the proof.
Here’s the Christian view: “The Bible is the key to the past, present, and future.” Taking God at His Word allows true scientific inquiry to take place because it provides the preconditions for rational thought.
- Creation of all matter by an eternal God (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3) makes more sense than the eternality of matter and infinite past ages.
- Creation and the Fall can account for the inherent sense of morality shared by every human being (Romans 2:14), along with the sense of guilt and shame when we break moral law (Romans 2:15); no other worldview, secular or religious, is able to account for those phenomena consistently.
- And the biblical record of a worldwide Flood that covered all the high mountains under the whole heaven (Genesis 7:19-20) and killed all creatures except those in the ark (Genesis 7:21-23), makes better sense of the fossil record than anything put forth by uniformitarian geology.
It’s time for Christians to return to the self-attesting authority of God’s Word and forsake the “vain babblings and oppositions of science, falsely so called.”
Appearance of Age
God created the universe to be fully functional and immediately useful for Adam and Eve, the crowning jewels of His creation. A mature Adam and Eve were able to make immediate use of the garden for their sustenance and pleasure. How is that deceptive? When God told Adam how he and the rest of the garden came into existence, can you imagine Adam charging God with deception?
Adam: “Wait a sec, God…me, Eve, and the rest of these plants and animals didn’t develop like this overnight. You think I was born yesterday?!”
God: “Well, yes…formed from the dust rather than born; but essentially, yes, you were born yesterday.”
So, Adam is left to believe it or not. He can either take God at His word, or reject His account of creation. That’s the position we’re in as well.
When Jesus created bread and fish for the multitudes, those who didn’t know better could assume they were eating bread harvested from grain and fish caught in the fisherman’s net. But we know better because God told us in His Word that Jesus created bread and fish that was immediately useful for consumption by the hungry crowds (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-38).
Those who insinuate some level of deception by God, like the serpent of old (Genesis 3:1), cast shadows on His character. Taking God at His word, particularly with this matter of origins, does not make God out to be a deceiver. Rather, it’s the humble position of faith—“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).
So, what do we do when we discover data that don’t seem to fit the Genesis record of a literal, six-day creation? Some have pointed to the appearance of a supernova in 1987; because of its position in space, it supposedly took 168,000 years for SN 1987’s light particles to travel to earth. Note that the Bible acknowledges such phenomena, like the light from the star in Matthew 2:2, while at the same time affirming the historical accuracy of the Genesis creation account (Matthew 19:4; Romans 5:12-21).
How does 168,000 years fit into the history of the universe, which the Bible says is less than 10,000 years? If the Bible has its proper place in our thinking, we’ll interpret what we see and experience in light of what we read in God’s Word. What is in doubt, therefore, is the 168,000 years, not the biblical timetable of creation. We interpret the data within the framework of a literal, six-day creation. We subject the data, along with our scientific inquiry to understand it, to Scripture; we don’t force the Scripture to fit into an old-earth framework.
With regard to SN 1987, here are a few things to think about:
- What if forces exist that affect how light particles traverse the universe? What if the Lord, who superintends every molecule He created (Colossians 1:17), created laws in the universe that govern the movement of light in ways we haven’t yet discovered?
- What assumptions are at work to conclude 168,000 light years (distance) equals 168,000 years (time)?
- What questions are we failing to ask in the absence of more data, in the ignorance of other phenomena?
If we’re still discovering things about the planet on which we live, we ought to be just a tad bit more humble about the far reaches of the universe we’ve never visited.
The Creator’s Summary on Genesis
Liberals, conservatives, scientists, and philosophers have offered, literally demanded, their own interpretation of Genesis. They consult science, Ancient Near Eastern mythology, and even enlist the help of liberal scholars to advance their views. Why don’t they take the Creator’s word for it?
It would seem all those who have a different slant on the plain reading of Genesis 1-3 didn’t bother to look at the New Testament. There the Holy Spirit provides irrefutable support for a literal, historical interpretation of Genesis 1-3. Scripture always speaks with absolute authority. It is as authoritative when it instructs us as it is when it commands us. It is as true when it tells the future as it is when it records the past. Although it is not a textbook on science, wherever it intersects with scientific data, it speaks with the same authority as when it gives us moral precepts. Although many have tried to set science against Scripture, science never has disproved one jot or tittle of the Bible—and it never will.
It is therefore a serious mistake to imagine that modern scientists can speak more authoritatively than Scripture on the subject of origins. Scripture is God’s own eyewitness account of what happened in the beginning. When the Bible deals with the origin of the universe, all science can offer is conjecture. Science has proven nothing that negates the Genesis record. In fact, the Genesis record answers the mysteries of science.
A clear pattern for interpreting Genesis is given to us in the New Testament. If the language of early Genesis were meant to be interpreted figuratively, we could expect to see Genesis interpreted in the New Testament in a figurative sense. After all, the New Testament is itself inspired Scripture, so it is the Creator’s own commentary on the Genesis record. What do we find in the New Testament? In every New Testament reference to Genesis, the events recorded by Moses are treated as historical events. And in particular, the first three chapters of Genesis are consistently treated as a literal record of historical events. The New Testament affirms, for example, the creation of Adam in the image of God (James 3:9).
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:13-14). In 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, he writes, “Man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.”
Paul’s presentation of the doctrine of original sin in Romans 5:12-20 depends on a historical Adam and a literal interpretation of the account in Genesis about how he fell. Furthermore, everything Paul has to say about the doctrine of justification by faith depends on a historical Adam. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Clearly Paul regarded both the creation and fall of Adam as history, not allegory. Jesus Himself referred to the creation of Adam and Eve as a historical event (Mark 10:6). To question the veracity and history of these events is to undermine the very essence of Christian doctrine.
Moreover, if Scripture itself treats the creation and fall of Adam as historical events, there is no warrant for treating the rest of the creation account as allegory or literary device. Nowhere in all of Scripture are any of these events handled as merely symbolic. In fact, when the New Testament refers to creation, (e.g., Mark 13:19; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 14:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, 10; Revelation 4:11; 10:6; 14:7) it always refers to a past, completed event, an immediate work of God, not a still-occurring process of evolution. The promised New Creation, a running theme in both Old and New Testaments, is portrayed as an immediate fiat creation, too, not an eons-long process (Isaiah 65:17). In fact, the model for the New Creation is the original creation (Romans 8:21; Revelation 21:1, 5).
Hebrews 11:3 even makes belief in creation by divine fiat the very essence of faith itself: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Creation ex nihilo, out of nothing, is the clear and consistent teaching of the Bible. From Creation to the Fall, James, Paul and Jesus all clearly treated Genesis as historical narrative, not mythology or allegory. Now, if we dismiss the literal, historical creation and fall of Adam, how should we understand New Testament references to content in Genesis 1-3?
Don’t Surrender the Ground
An old Arabian proverb says, “If the camel gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.” That happens all the time when Christians imagine a friendly alliance can exist between evolution and creation. Wedding the two is a compromise with enormous ramifications. Surrendering ground in this debate is absolutely unnecessary—even tragic. What’s at stake is the inerrancy, integrity, and authority of Scripture. Now is not the time to weaken our commitment to God’s flawless Words, it’s time to take a stand.
The evolutionary lie is so pointedly antithetical to Christian truth that it would seem unthinkable for evangelical Christians to compromise with evolutionary science in any degree. But over the past century and a half of evolutionary propaganda, evolutionists have had remarkable success in getting evangelicals to meet them halfway. Remarkably, many modern evangelicals, perhaps it would even be fair to say most people who call themselves evangelicals today, have already been convinced that the Genesis account of creation is not a true historical record. Thus they have not only capitulated to evolutionary doctrine at its starting point, but they have also embraced a view that undermines the authority of Scripture at its starting point.
So-called theistic evolutionists who try to marry humanistic theories of modern science with biblical theism may claim they are doing so because they love God, but the truth is that they love God a little and their academic reputations a lot. By undermining the veracity and history of Genesis, they are undermining faith itself. Give evolutionary doctrine the throne and make the Bible its servant, and you have laid the foundation for spiritual disaster.
Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of all truth. And the further evangelicalism gets from that conviction, the less evangelical and more humanistic it becomes. Scripture cautions against false “knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20), particularly so-called “scientific” knowledge that opposes the truth of Scripture. When what is being passed off as “science” turns out to be nothing more than a faith-based world-view that is hostile to the truth of Scripture, our duty to be on guard is magnified. And when naturalistic and atheistic presuppositions are being aggressively peddled as if they were established scientific fact, Christians ought to expose such lies for what they are and oppose them all the more vigorously.
The abandonment of a biblical view of creation has already borne abundant evil fruit in modern society. Now is no time for the church to retreat or compromise on these issues. To weaken our commitment to the biblical view of creation would start a chain of disastrous moral, spiritual, and theological ramifications in the church that will greatly exacerbate the terrible moral chaos that already has begun the unraveling of secular society.
God’s Final Word
The central issue in the science versus the Bible investigation is the final authority of God’s Word. Not only is God’s Word sufficient to answer our most challenging questions about origins, it is superior to every other explanation. When Scripture speaks, it speaks with the full weight of divine authority. Science, archeology, and any other system of study must bow the knee.
The Genesis account simply will not accommodate naturalistic presuppositions and customized hermeneutics. The biblical text must be the starting place for the interpreter, not the last stop. This saying bears repeating: Science makes a great servant but a poor master. God’s Word must be central in our quest to understand the universe.
The Bible gives a clear and cogent account of the beginnings of the cosmos and humanity. There is absolutely no reason for an intelligent mind to balk at accepting it as a literal account of the origin of our universe. Although the biblical account clashes at many points with naturalistic and evolutionary hypotheses, it is not in conflict with a single scientific fact. Indeed, all the geological, astronomical, and scientific data can be easily reconciled with the biblical account. The conflict is not between science and Scripture, but between the Bible believer’s confident faith and the naturalist’s willful skepticism.
To many, having been indoctrinated in schools where the line between hypothesis and fact is systematically and deliberately being blurred, that statement may sound naive or unsophisticated, but it is nonetheless a fact. Again, science has never disproved one word of Scripture, and it never will. On the other hand, evolutionary theory has always been in conflict with Scripture and always will be. But the notion that the universe evolved through a series of natural processes remains an unproven and untestable hypothesis, and therefore it is not “science.” There is no proof whatsoever that the universe evolved naturally. Evolution is a mere theory—and a questionable, constantly-changing one at that. Ultimately, if accepted at all, it must be taken by sheer faith.
How much better to base our faith on the sure foundation of God’s Word! There is no ground of knowledge equal to or superior to Scripture. Unlike scientific theory, it is eternally unchanging. Unlike the opinions of man, its truth is revealed by the Creator Himself! It is not, as many suppose, at odds with science. True science has always affirmed the teaching of Scripture. Archaeology, for instance, has demonstrated the truthfulness of the biblical record over and over. Wherever Scripture’s record of history is examined and either proved or disproved by archaeological evidence or reliable independent documentary evidence, the biblical record has always been verified. There is no valid reason whatsoever to doubt or distrust the biblical record of creation, and there is certainly no need to adjust the biblical account to try to make it fit the latest fads in evolutionary theory.
A biblical understanding of the creation and fall of humanity establishes the necessary foundation for the Christian world-view. Everything Scripture teaches about sin and redemption assumes the literal truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. If we wobble to any degree on the truth of this passage, we undermine the very foundations of our faith. If Genesis 1-3 doesn’t tell us the truth, why should we believe anything else in the Bible? Without a right understanding of our origin, we have no way to understand anything about our spiritual existence. We cannot know our purpose, and we cannot be certain of our destiny. After all, if God is not the Creator, then maybe He’s not the Redeemer either. If we cannot believe the opening chapters of Scripture, how can we be certain of anything the Bible says?
Much depends, therefore, on a right understanding of these early chapters of Genesis. These chapters are too often mishandled by people whose real aim is not to understand what the text actually teaches but who want to adjust it to fit a scientific theory. The approach is all wrong. Since creation cannot be observed or replicated in a laboratory, science is not a trustworthy place to seek answers about the origin and fall of humanity. Ultimately, the only reliable source of truth about our origin is what has been revealed by the Creator himself. That means the biblical text should be our starting place.
The correct interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is the one that comes naturally from a straightforward reading of the text. It teaches us that the universe is relatively young, albeit with an appearance of age and maturity—and that all of creation was accomplished in the span of six literal days.
To those who will inevitably complain that such a view is credulous and unsophisticated, my reply is that it is certainly superior to the irrational notion that an ordered and incomprehensibly complex universe sprung by accident from nothingness and emerged by chance into the marvel that it is. Scripture offers the only accurate explanations that can be found anywhere about how our race began, where our moral sense originated, why we cannot seem to do what our own consciences tells us is right, and how we can be redeemed from this hopeless situation. Scripture is not merely the best of several possible explanations. It is the Word of God.
The Scientific Case Against Evolution Without Scripture References
Belief in evolution is a remarkable phenomenon. It is a belief passionately defended by the scientific establishment, despite the lack of any observable scientific evidence for macroevolution (that is, evolution from one distinct kind of organism into another). This odd situation is briefly documented here by citing recent statements from leading evolutionists admitting their lack of proof. These statements inadvertently show that evolution on any significant scale does not occur at present, and never happened in the past, and could never happen at all.
Evolution Is Not Happening Now
First of all, the lack of a case for evolution is clear from the fact that no one has ever seen it happen. If it were a real process, evolution should still be occurring, and there should be many “transitional” forms that we could observe. What we see instead, of course, is an array of distinct “kinds” of plants and animals with many varieties within each kind, but with very clear and , apparently, unbridgeable gaps between the kinds. That is, for example, there are many varieties of dogs and many varieties of cats, but no “dats” or “cogs.” Such observable variation is often called microevolution, and these minor horizontal (or downward) changes occur fairly often, but such changes are not true “vertical” evolution or changes from one kind to a completely different kind.
Evolutionary geneticists have often experimented on fruit flies and other rapidly reproducing species to induce mutational changes hoping they would lead to new and better species, but these have all failed to accomplish their goal. No truly new species has ever been produced, let alone a new “basic kind.” A current leading evolutionist, Jeffrey Schwartz, professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, has recently acknowledged that, “. . . it was and still is the case that, with the exception of Dobzhansky’s claim about a new species of fruit fly (but it still is a fruit fly, not a beetle), the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed”.
The scientific method traditionally has required experimental observation and replication. The fact that macroevolution (as distinct from microevolution) has never been observed would seem to exclude it from the domain of true science. Even Ernst Mayr, the dean of living evolutionists, longtime professor of biology at Harvard, who has alleged that evolution is a “simple fact,” nevertheless agrees that it is an “historical science” for which “laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques” by which to explain it. One can never actually see nor has anyone ever seen evolution in action.
Evolution Never Happened in the Past
Evolutionists commonly answer the above criticism by claiming that evolution goes too slowly for us to see it happening today. They used to claim that the real evidence for evolution was in the fossil record of the past, but the fact is that the billions of known fossils do not include a single unequivocal transitional form with transitional structures in the process of evolving. Given that evolution, according to Darwin, was in a continual state of motion . . . it followed logically that the fossil record should be rife with examples of transitional forms leading from the less to the more evolved.
Even those who believe in rapid evolution recognize that a considerable number of generations would be required for one distinct “kind” to evolve into another more complex kind. There ought, therefore, to be a considerable number of true transitional structures preserved in the fossils – after all, there are billions of non-transitional structures in the fossil record! But, they are not there, they simply do not exist!
Instead of filling in the gaps in the fossil record with so-called missing links, most paleontologists found themselves facing a situation in which there were only gaps in the fossil record, with no evidence of transformational intermediates between documented fossil species. The entire history of evolution from the evolution of life from non-life to the evolution of vertebrates from invertebrates to the evolution of man from the ape is strikingly devoid of intermediates. The links are all missing in the fossil record, just as they are in the present world.
With respect to the origin of life, a leading researcher in this field, Leslie Orgel, after noting that neither proteins nor nucleic acids could have arisen without the other, concludes, “And so, at first glance, one might have to conclude that life could never, in fact, have originated by chemical means.” Being committed to total evolution as he is, Dr. Orgel cannot accept any such conclusion as that. Therefore, he speculates that RNA may have come first, but then he still has to admit that, “The precise events giving rise to the RNA world remain unclear. . . . investigators have proposed many hypotheses, but evidence in favor of each of them is fragmentary at best”. Translation: “There is no known way by which life could have arisen naturalistically.”
Unfortunately, two generations of students have been taught that Stanley Miller’s famous experiment on a gaseous mixture, practically proved the naturalistic origin of life. But not so! Miller put the whole thing in a ball, gave it an electric charge, and waited. He found that amino acids and other fundamental complex molecules were accumulating at the bottom of the apparatus. His discovery gave a huge boost to the scientific investigation of the origin of life. Indeed, for some time it seemed like creation of life in a test tube was within reach of experimental science. Unfortunately, such experiments have not progressed much further than the original prototype, leaving us with a sour aftertaste from the primordial soup.
Neither is there any clue as to how the one-celled organisms of the primordial world could have evolved into the vast array of complex multi-celled invertebrates of the Cambrian period. Even dogmatic evolutionist Gould admits that, “The Cambrian explosion was the most remarkable and puzzling event in the history of life.”
Equally puzzling, however, is how some invertebrate creature in the ancient ocean, with all its “hard parts” on the outside, managed to evolve into the first vertebrate, that is, the first fish, with its hard parts all on the inside. Yet the transition from spineless invertebrates to the first backboned fishes is still shrouded in mystery, and many theories abound.
Other gaps are abundant, with no real transitional series anywhere. A very bitter opponent of creation science, paleontologist, Niles Eldredge, has acknowledged that there is little, if any, evidence of evolutionary transitions in the fossil record. Instead, things remain the same! “It is a simple ineluctable truth that virtually all members of a biota remain basically stable, with minor fluctuations, throughout their durations. . . .”
So how do evolutionists arrive at their evolutionary trees from fossils of organisms which didn’t change during their durations? Fossil discoveries can muddle over attempts to construct simple evolutionary trees – fossils from key periods are often not intermediates, but rather hodge-podges of defining features of many different groups. Generally, it seems that major groups are not assembled in a simple linear or progressive manner — new features are often “cut and pasted” on different groups at different times.
As far as ape/human intermediates are concerned, the same is true, although anthropologists have been eagerly searching for them for many years. Many have been proposed, but each has been rejected in turn. All that paleoanthropologists have to show for more than 100 years of digging are remains from fewer than 2000 of our ancestors. They have used this assortment of jawbones, teeth and fossilized scraps, together with molecular evidence from living species, to piece together a line of human descent going back 5 to 8 million years to the time when humans and chimpanzees diverged from a common ancestor.
Anthropologists supplemented their extremely fragmentary fossil evidence with DNA and other types of molecular genetic evidence from living animals to try to work out an evolutionary scenario that will fit. But this genetic evidence really doesn’t help much either, for it contradicts fossil evidence. Lewin notes that, “The overall effect is that molecular phylogenetics is by no means as straightforward as its pioneers believed. . . . The Byzantine dynamics of genome change has many other consequences for molecular phylogenetics, including the fact that different genes tell different stories.”
Summarizing the genetic data from humans, another author concludes, rather pessimistically, “Even with DNA sequence data, we have no direct access to the processes of evolution, so objective reconstruction of the vanished past can be achieved only by creative imagination.”
Since there is no real scientific evidence that evolution is occurring at present or ever occurred in the past, it is reasonable to conclude that evolution is not a fact of science, as many claim. In fact, it is not even science at all, but an arbitrary system built upon faith in universal naturalism. Actually, these negative evidences against evolution are, at the same time, strong positive evidences for special creation. They are, in fact, specific predictions based on the creation model of origins.
Creationists would obviously predict ubiquitous gaps between created kinds, though with many varieties capable of arising within each kind, in order to enable each basic kind to cope with changing environments without becoming extinct. Creationists also would anticipate that any “vertical changes” in organized complexity would be downward, since the Creator (by definition) would create things correctly to begin with. Thus, arguments and evidences against evolution are, at the same time, positive evidences for creation.
The Equivocal Evidence from Genetics
Nevertheless, because of the lack of any direct evidence for evolution, evolutionists are increasingly turning to dubious circumstantial evidences, such as similarities in DNA or other biochemical components of organisms as their “proof” that evolution is a scientific fact. A number of evolutionists have even argued that DNA itself is evidence for evolution since it is common to all organisms. More often is the argument used that similar DNA structures in two different organisms proves common evolutionary ancestry.
Neither argument is valid. There is no reason whatever why the Creator could not or would not use the same type of genetic code based on DNA for all His created life forms. This is evidence for intelligent design and creation, not evolution. The most frequently cited example of DNA commonality is the human/chimpanzee “similarity,” noting that chimpanzees have more than 90% of their DNA the same as humans. Recently, the Institute for Creation Research has shown that the “similarities” of human DNA with chimp DNA is more on the 70% level, not 90%. Even this is hardly surprising, however, considering the many physiological resemblances between people and chimpanzees. Why shouldn’t they have similar DNA structures in comparison, say, to the DNA differences between men and spiders?
Similarities, whether of DNA, anatomy, embryonic development, or anything else, are better explained in terms of creation by a common Designer than by evolutionary relationship. The great differences between organisms are of greater significance than the similarities, and evolutionism has no explanation for these if they all are assumed to have had the same ancestor. How could these great gaps between kinds ever arise at all, by any natural process?
The apparently small differences between human and chimpanzee DNA obviously produce very great differences in their respective anatomies, intelligence, etc. The superficial similarities between all apes and human beings are nothing compared to the differences in any practical or observable sense. Nevertheless, evolutionists, having largely become disenchanted with the fossil record as a witness for evolution because of the ubiquitous gaps where there should be transitions, recently have been promoting DNA and other genetic evidence as proof of evolution. However, as noted above by Roger Lewin, this is often inconsistent with, not only the fossil record, but also with the comparative morphology of the creatures. Lewin also mentions just a few typical contradictions yielded by this type of evidence in relation to more traditional Darwinian “proofs.”
The elephant shrew, consigned by traditional analysis to the order insectivores, is in fact more closely related to the true elephant. Cows are more closely related to dolphins than they are to horses. The duckbilled platypus is on equal evolutionary footing with kangaroos and koalas. There are many even more bizarre comparisons yielded by this approach.
The abundance of so-called “junk DNA” in the genetic code also has been offered as a special type of evidence for evolution, especially those genes which they think have experienced mutations, sometimes called “pseudogenes.” However, evidence is accumulating rapidly today that these supposedly useless genes do actually perform useful functions.
Enough genes have already been uncovered in the genetic code to show that what was once thought to be waste is definitely being transmitted into scientific code. It is thus wrong to decide that junk DNA, even the so-called “pseudogenes,” has no function. That is merely an admission of ignorance and an object for fruitful research. Like the so-called “vestigial organs” in man (once thought to number over 100), once considered as evidence of evolution but now all known to have specific uses, so the junk DNA and pseudogenes most probably are specifically useful to the organism, whether or not those uses have yet been discovered by scientists.
At the very best this type of evidence is strictly circumstantial and can be explained just as well in terms of primeval creation supplemented in some cases by later deterioration, just as expected in the creation model. The real issue is, as noted before, whether there is any observable evidence that evolution is occurring now or has ever occurred in the past. As we have seen, even evolutionists have to acknowledge that this type of real scientific evidence for evolution does not exist.
A good question to ask is: Why are all observable evolutionary changes either horizontal and trivial (so-called microevolution) or downward toward deterioration and extinction? The answer seems to be found in the universally applicable laws of the science of thermodynamics.
Evolution Could Never Happen at All
The main scientific reason why there is no evidence for evolution in either the present or the past (except in the creative imagination of evolutionary scientists) is because one of the most fundamental laws of nature precludes it. The law of increasing entropy, also known as the second law of thermodynamics, stipulates that all systems in the real world tend to go “downhill,” as it were, toward disorganization and decreased complexity.
This law of entropy is, by any measure, one of the most universal, best proved laws of nature. It applies not only in physical and chemical systems, but also in biological and geological systems – in fact, in all systems, without exception.
No exception to the second law of thermodynamics has ever been found, not even a tiny one. Like conservation of energy (the “first law”), the existence of a law so precise and so independent of details of models must have a logical foundation that is independent of the fact that matter is composed of interacting particles. This is referring primarily to physics, but the second law is “independent of details of models.” Besides, practically all evolutionary biologists are reductionists – that is, they insist that there are no “vitalist” forces in living systems, and that all biological processes are explicable in terms of physics and chemistry. That being the case, biological processes also must operate in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, and practically all biologists acknowledge this.
Evolutionists commonly insist, however, that evolution is a fact anyhow, and that the conflict is resolved by noting that the earth is an “open system,” with the incoming energy from the sun that is able to sustain evolution throughout the geological ages in spite of the natural tendency of all systems to deteriorate toward disorganization. That is how an evolutionary entomologist has dismissed W. A. Dembski’s impressive recent book, Intelligent Design. This scientist defends what he thinks is “natural processes’ ability to increase complexity” by noting what he calls a “flaw” in “the arguments against evolution based on the second law of thermodynamics.” And what is this flaw?
Although the overall amount of disorder in a closed system cannot decrease, local order within a larger system can increase even without the actions of an intelligent agent. This naive response to the entropy law is typical of evolutionary dissimulation. While it is true that local order can increase in an open system if certain conditions are met, the fact is that evolution does not meet those conditions. Simply saying that the earth is open to the energy from the sun says nothing about how that raw solar heat is converted into increased complexity in any system, open or closed.
The fact is that the best known and most fundamental equation of thermodynamics says that the influx of heat into an open system will increase the entropy of that system, not decrease it. All known cases of decreased entropy (or increased organization) in open systems involve a guiding program of some sort and one or more energy conversion mechanisms.
Evolution has neither of these. Mutations are not “organizing” mechanisms, but disorganizing (in accord with the second law). They are commonly harmful, sometimes neutral, but never beneficial (at least as far as observed mutations are concerned). Natural selection cannot generate order, but can only “sieve out” the disorganizing mutations presented to it, thereby conserving the existing order, but never generating new order. In principle, it may be barely conceivable that evolution could occur in open systems, in spite of the tendency of all systems to disintegrate sooner or later. But no one yet has been able to show that it actually has the ability to overcome this universal tendency, and that is the basic reason why there is still no bona fide proof of evolution, past or present.
From the statements of evolutionists themselves, therefore, we have learned that there is no real scientific evidence for real evolution. The only observable evidence is that of very limited horizontal (or downward) changes within strict limits.
Evolution is Religion — Not Science
In no way does the idea of particles-to-people evolution meet the long-accepted criteria of a scientific theory. There are no such evolutionary transitions that have ever been observed in the fossil record of the past; and the universal law of entropy seems to make it impossible on any significant scale.
Evolutionists claim that evolution is a scientific fact, but they almost always lose scientific debates with creationist scientists. Accordingly, most evolutionists now decline opportunities for scientific debates, preferring instead to make unilateral attacks on creationists. Scientists should refuse formal debates because they do more harm than good, but scientists still feel the need to counter the creationist message. The question is, just why do they need to counter the creationist message? Why are they so adamantly committed to anti-creationism?
The fact is that evolutionists believe in evolution because they want to. It is their desire at all costs to explain the origin of everything without a Creator. Evolutionism is thus intrinsically an atheistic religion. Some may prefer to call it humanism, and “new age” evolutionists place it in the context of some form of pantheism, but they all amount to the same thing. Whether atheism or humanism (or even pantheism), the purpose is to eliminate a personal God from any active role in the origin of the universe and all its components, including man.
The core of the humanistic philosophy is naturalism – the proposition that the natural world proceeds according to its own internal dynamics, without divine or supernatural control or guidance, and that we human beings are creations of that process. It is instructive to recall that the philosophers of the early humanistic movement debated as to which term more adequately described their position: humanism or naturalism. The two concepts are complementary and inseparable.
Since both naturalism and humanism exclude God from science or any other active function in the creation or maintenance of life and the universe in general, it is very obvious that their position is nothing but atheism. And atheism, no less than theism, is a religion! Even doctrinaire-atheistic evolutionist Richard Dawkins admits that atheism cannot be proved to be true. Of course, we can’t prove that there isn’t a God. Therefore, they must believe it, and that makes it a religion.
The atheistic nature of evolution is not only admitted, but insisted upon by most of the leaders of evolutionary thought. Ernst Mayr, for example, says that, “Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations.”
A professor in the Department of Biology at Kansas State University says, “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” It is well known by almost everyone in the scientific world today that such influential evolutionists as Stephen Jay Gould and Edward Wilson of Harvard, Richard Dawkins of England, William Provine of Cornell, and numerous other evolutionary spokesmen are dogmatic atheists. Eminent scientific philosopher and ardent Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse has even acknowledged that evolution is their religion!
Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion – a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today. Another way of saying “religion” is “worldview,” the whole of reality. The evolutionary worldview applies not only to the evolution of life, but even to that of the entire universe. In the realm of cosmic evolution, our naturalistic scientists depart even further from experimental science than life scientists do, manufacturing a variety of evolutionary cosmologies from esoteric mathematics and metaphysical speculation. They must believe in evolution, therefore, in spite of all the evidence, not because of it. And speaking of deceptions, note the following remarkable statement, “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” The author of this frank statement is Richard Lewontin of Harvard. Since evolution is not a laboratory science, there is no way to test its validity, so all sorts of just so stories are contrived to adorn the textbooks. But that doesn’t make them true!
An evolutionist reviewing a recent book by another (but more critical) evolutionist, says, “We cannot identify ancestors or “missing links,” and we cannot devise testable theories to explain how particular episodes of evolution came about. Gee is adamant that all the popular stories about how the first amphibians conquered the dry land, how the birds developed wings and feathers for flying, how the dinosaurs went extinct, and how humans evolved from apes are just products of our imagination, driven by prejudices and preconceptions.”
A fascinatingly honest admission by a physicist indicates the passionate commitment of establishment scientists to naturalism. Speaking of the trust students naturally place in their highly educated college professors, he says, “And I use that trust to effectively brainwash them. . . . our teaching methods are primarily those of propaganda. We appeal – without demonstration – to evidence that supports our position. We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary.” Creationist students in scientific courses taught by evolutionist professors can testify to the frustrating reality of that statement. Evolution is, indeed, the pseudoscientific basis of religious atheism, as Ruse pointed out.
Will Provine at Cornell University is another scientist who frankly acknowledges this, “As the creationists claim, belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.” Once again, we emphasize that evolution is not science, evolutionists’ tirades notwithstanding. It is a philosophical worldview, nothing more.
Evolution must, they feel, explain everything. “A theory that explains everything might just as well be discarded since it has no real explanatory value. Of course, the other thing about evolution is that anything can be said because very little can be disproved. Experimental evidence is minimal.” Even that statement is too generous. Actual experimental evidence demonstrating true evolution (that is, macroevolution) is not “minimal.” It is nonexistent!
The concept of evolution as a form of religion is not new. In Dr. Henry Morris’ book, The Long War Against God, he documented the fact that some form of evolution has been the pseudo-rationale behind every anti-creationist religion since the very beginning of history. This includes all the ancient ethnic religions, as well as such modern world religions as Buddhism, Hinduism, and others, as well as the “liberal” movements in even the creationist religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam).
As far as the twentieth century is concerned, the leading evolutionist is generally considered to be Sir Julian Huxley, primary architect of modern Neo-Darwinism. Huxley called evolution a “religion without revelation” and wrote a book with that title. In a later book, he said, “Evolution . . . is the most powerful and the most comprehensive idea that has ever arisen on earth.” Later in the book he argued passionately that we must change “our pattern of religious thought from a God-centered to an evolution-centered pattern.” Then he went on to say that, “The God hypothesis . . . is becoming an intellectual and moral burden on our thought.” Therefore, he concluded that “we must construct something to take its place.” That something, of course, is the religion of evolutionary humanism, and that is what the leaders of evolutionary humanism are trying to do today. Globalism fits nicely into that effort as well.
In closing, this survey of the scientific case against evolution (and, therefore, for creation), the reader is reminded again that all quotations in the article are from doctrinaire evolutionists. No Bible references were included, and no statements by creationists were cited since the evolutionists themselves, to all intents and purposes, have shown that evolutionism is not science, but religious faith in atheism. Perhaps their only defense in this stance is that they somehow believe that if they deny that there is a Holy God, then they will escape His Wrath in judgment of their disobedience?